concept: I’m able to fluently express myself in a wide range of languages. The eyes of native speakers lighten up when they hear me speak their language, complimenting me on my skills. I have now access to culture and people in a way I never had before.

The Aestics of Languages, from a girl w/ synesthesia

Norwegian: a clear babbling stream, snowy mountaintops, sea birds, reindeer, sledding down a hill

German: strong black coffe, cobblestone roads, cloudy skies, lustful gazes, red lipstick

Mandarin Chinese: walking down a city street, bustling crowds, stationary, the sound of opening a new book

Spanish: warm summer sun, laughter, bright smiles, dancing until you can’t anymore, gold earrings

Dutch: warm hugs, waffles with cream, good cheese, the smell of an old library

Hindi: marigold flowers, a sense of peace, brilliantly colored vegetables, flowing vibrant clothes

Icelandic: wind rolling over hills, crashing waves, tinkling bells, icicles

French: early morning sunrises, sleeping under a new duvet, strawberries, sharply drawn eyeliner

Italian: home cooked meals, singing alone in your room, boats

Swahili: music that you can’t help but dance to, winning at your favorite game, water dripping into a puddle, golden eyes, dark hair

Arabic: body art, mosaics, glitter, rainbows cast from sunlight through crystal

Japanese: delicate flowers, well made machinery, studying with friends, fireflies, the first snow of winter

Irish: flute music, wet grass, fairy whispers, a full moon, playing with children

Russian: alcohol, runner’s high, bronze statues, old buildings, heartfelt conversations

Feel free to add your own!!


Happy Kwanzaa (December 26- January 1). Umoja is about togetherness of family and community. It reminds us that all Black Americans share similar struggles and that we have a duty to help one another and uplift one another. Without unity of our community we wouldn’t have achieved so many amazing things in our history.

Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966. It was established to help Black Americans reconnect with their African heritage. There are seven principles of Kwanzaa, including Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

This year I plan to learn as much as I can about Kwanzaa so that I can properly observe it in future years. I’m sure I won’t get my family to jump on board with me lol but one day when I have my own family I want us to observe it. The celebration of Kwanzaa declined among black Americans with the decline of the Black Power Movement. Now I feel like a lot of black people see it as “wack,” but I feel like that’s what America wants us to think. They want us to think our own traditions are boring and lame so that we will adopt and assimilate to theirs. That’s why I want to do my part in making sure this holiday gains visibility. Please REBLOG so we can remind our brothers and sisters about our holiday! ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🖤❤️💚

I’m interested in the “’chai’ means tea” and “’chai’ is a type of tea, ‘tea’ means tea” divide in languages.

Team Chai:

  • Hindi - चाय (chaay)
  • Urdu - چائے (chai)
  • Arabic - شاي (shay)
  • Turkish - çay
  • Amharic - ሻይ (shayi)
  • Somali - shaah
  • Swahili - chai
  • Bosnian - čaj
  • Russian - чай (chai)
  • Greek - τσάι (tsai)
  • Chinese - 茶 (cha)
  • Thai - ชา (cha)
  • Portuguese - chá

Team Tea:

  • English - tea
  • German - tee
  • Danish - te
  • Dutch - thee
  • Africaans - tee
  • Yoruba - tii
  • Sudanese - téh
  • Hungarian - tea
  • French - thé
  • Italian - tè
  • Spanish - té

Team Neither:

  • Finnish - iltapäiväateria (also uses loanword ‘tee’)
  • Lithuanian - arbata
  • Japanese - お茶 (ocha)
  • Korean appears to use both 차 (cha) and 티 (ti)

My (completely unsupported, unresearched) theory is that Germanic and Romance languages tend toward the “tea” root, and other major language families tend toward “chai” especially languages spoken in largely Islamic areas (Arabic, Turkish, Amharic, Urdu) but there are many examples that break that pattern.

(Native speakers, please correct me! I do not speak these languages, can’t comment on everyday usage, and can only read Roman characters and Cyrillic. Google Translate was used for a large chunk of info.)

Please Stop saying these names are Ghetto

LAKEISHA: a swahili name meaning “favorite one”

LATEEFAH: a north african name meaning “gentle and pleasant”

LATONIA: a latin name. latonia was the mother of diana in roman mythology

LATISHA: means “happiness”

TAKIYA: a north african name meaning “righteous”

ESHE. African Swahili name meaning “immortal”

KALISHA. Probably from the Galla word kalisha “sorcerer, wizard, witch doctor, magician”

LEENA (لينا). Another spelling of Arabic Lina (q.v.), meaning “softness.” In use in Africa.

MAKENA. African Kikuyu name meaning “the happy one.”

NIA. African Swahili name meaning “intention, life purpose, mind.”

MONIFA. African Yoruba name, meaning “I am luck,” from mo “I,” and ifa “profit, luck.”

NUBIA. Unisex. African. From the name of the country Nubia, meaning “land of gold,” from the Coptic word for gold.

AYANA : Ethiopian female name meaning “beautiful flower.”

SHANIKA. Unisex. African Bantu name, probably meaning “young one from the wilderness.”

SALINA. African. A name in use in Kenya. It may mean “merciful.”

TAMEKA. Another spelling of the African Congo name Tamika (q.v.), meaning “a twin,”

TAMELA. African Zulu name meaning “she who basks in the sun,”

AMARA. f. African. From the Swahili word amara, meaning “urgent business.”
Hindu. name meaning “immortal.”
African. Ethiopian. Amharic amari, meaning “agreeable, pleasing.”

CHICHI f Western African, Igbo
Diminutive of Igbo names beginning with the element Chi meaning “God”.

IMANI f & m Eastern African, Swahili, African American
Means “faith” in Swahili, ultimately of Arabic origin.

AZIZA f means “Respected. Darling.” Muslim,African, Egyptian, Arabic, Somali name meaning “gorgeous.

DALIA/DALILA f means “Gentle.”
African, Arabic, American, Egyptian, Spanish, African, Hebrew

BIBI : An East African female name meaning “daughter of a king.” Also a Kiswahili word meaning “lady” or “grandmother.”

ADA : Ibo of Nigeria name for firstborn females.

ZENA : Ethiopian name meaning “news” or “fame.”

JAMILAH f means “Beautiful.”
Arabic, Muslim, African

KALIFA f means “Chaste; holy.”

“Wise.” Egyptian African Swahili name meaning “righteous.”

TAJ means “Crown.”
Indian,Sanskrit, African

FATUMA : Popular Swahili and Somali versions of the name Muslim name, FATIMA, meaning “weaned.”

NANA : Ghanaian name meaning “mother of the Earth.”

AJA : High Priestess of Mecca.

ADINA : Amharic of Ethiopia word sometimes used as a female name, meaning “she has saved.”

BALINDA : A Rutooro of Uganda name meaning “patience, endurance, fortitude.” (Balinda is also used as a male name in Uganda.)

FANTA : Guinea and Cote D'Ivoire name meaning “beautiful day.”

KAYA : Ghanaian name meaning “stay and don’t go back.”

LAYLA , LAILA , LEYLA , LEILA : Swahili and Muslim name meaning “born at night.”

SHANI : Swahili name meaning “marvelous.”

ANAYA : Ibo of Eastern Nigeria name meaning “look up to God.”

TANISHA , TANI : Hausa of W. Africa name meaning “born on Monday.”

ZAKIYA : Swahili name meaning “smart, intelligent.”

TITI : Nigerian name meaning “flower.”

SAFIA , SAFIYA , SAFIYEH , SAFIYYAH : Swahili and Arabic name meaning “pure and wise” or “lion’s share.”

LULU : Swahili and Muslim name meaning “pearl” or “precious.”

KADIJA , KHADIJA : Swahili name meaning “born prematurely.”

AMINA : Somali and Muslim female name meaning “trustful, honest” and referring to Muhammed’s mother. This name is popular with the Hausa of West Africa.


Happy Kwanzaa! Today’s Principle is Kujichagulia, which means self-determination in Swahili. This principle begs you to ask yourself, “Who am I?,” “Am I really who I say I am?,” and “Am I all that I ought to be?” Kujichagulia demands that as African people we define and defend ourselves instead of letting other groups define and defend us. It reminds us that with our own self-determination, we can raise our communities up through individual willpower.


Please REBLOG so we can remind our brothers and sisters about our holiday!